Wednesday, December 01, 2004

Let's Put Our Heads Together....

"I support the troops...really I do."
Great. Are you ready to do something about it?

Two VERY important things today:
All of us here, both liberal and conservative, are obviously strong-willed people...probably type-A personalities. We are here to 'make a difference' -and to utilize the soapbox that the internet supplies. Truthfully though, most of the things that we discuss couldn't be changed even if we all agreed on a set course of action. BUT today I must ask for ideas...solutions...and a collective plan.

There is a soldier at Walter Reed Medical Center (not my friend... who has finally been discharged btw, and has begged his way back to The 'Stan...), he has been there since 2003 and his family is suffering SERIOUS financial trouble. The stress of worrying about his wife and three children and their fate is most definitely hindering his recovery. Keystone has done some research and we believe that soldiers lose their 'combat pay' status after three months Stateside (even if they are seriously wounded and at Bethesda or Walter Reed). It seems from the reading that I have done that they may qualify for Hostile Fire Pay (HFP/IDP) for the duration of the hospitalization at a rate of $225/mo. (Thanks for the PDF Keystone!) The family must incur the travel and/or lodging expenses of visiting their loved one. Keystone has tried in vain to contact organizations/churches that might help this soldier and his family. I had trouble sleeping last night thinking about this. About this soldier doing what was asked of him and returning so injured that he remains at Walter Reed a year later. A soldier that now has to worry that his injury will destroy his family. This should NEVER happen! But the politics of it can be tackled later. Right now...with our collective wills and resources...we need to think of a lifeline for this soldier. We all say that we support the troops ---and now is the time to figure out a tangible way to do that!

Keeping in the vein of supporting the troops, I direct your attention to Keystone Soldiers where a new promotion to benefit our troops has gotten underway. For a few months they have been offering Shallyn Sand Scarves for families and friends to send to their soldiers abroad. These scarves, the concept of Keystone and adopted by a designer from Philly, are designed to keep sand and dirt from the nose and mouths of soldiers. They are $14.95 with free shipping throughout December. If you have any questions email Keystone and ask if there is a soldier who needs a scarf from you.

But it gets better. For those who have no one they know personally in Iraq or Afghanistan, Shallyn is now making a civilian version of the scarf -great for Northeast Winters! Shallyn gives a portion of the proceeds to Keystone so they can continue to finance the much needed shipment of care packages to out troops.

Keystone's website has both the soldier’s version and the civilian version for sale. Please consider this as a direct link to supporting the troops for less than $17.

If you know of an organization that could help this soldier and his family, you can Email Keystone. For the Shallyn military scarves or the civilian version that benefits the troops, please go to KeystoneSoldiers.com to get yours. It would also help to spread the word...if you can blog on this or link this story to help this soldier. A soldier's wife and family should never have to bear the possibility of destitution as their husband/father lies injured at Walter Reed!

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